Pilates Bridge

The (Pretty Powerful) Pilates Bridge…

Why “Pretty Powerful”?

Read On…

Bridges improve posture

You are most likely reading this on your computer or phone right now. That means you are probably leaning forward, rounding your shoulders and your back. Most of us sit this way throughout the day, which can cause headaches, weakness and tight muscles from our poor posture

Bridging strengthens the back extensors, which can help us stand up straighter

Bridges can decrease back pain

Back pain many times can be caused by poor movement of the spine. It can lead to weak hip and abdominal muscles. All of these issues are addressed with a bridge exercise. The focus on the core and surrounding muscles can help support and strengthen the low back, leading to decreased pain, regular strengthening with bridges can help prevent back pain in the future

Bridges tightens your bum and legs

Stronger glutes not only make you look better in (/out of) your jeans, but also help contribute to your overall health.  Many people with low back, hip and knee pain have weak gluteal muscles. The bridge can help target and isolate these important muscles

Bridges can be done lying down

Squats are a very popular and effective exercise for strengthening leg muscles, but there are many people who are unable to do a traditional squat due to back, knee or hip pain. The bridge allows a person to strengthen these muscles in a position that doesn’t put pressure on their joints.

Bridges enhance sports performance

Most physical activities – including running, hiking, cycling, sprinting, and jumping – require strong gluteal muscles. Most people don’t realise they have weak glutes until an injury takes them out of their chosen sport for a while. Bridges can help strengthen all the posterior chain muscles, which can lead to decreased chance for injury and improved sports performance.

Bridges help prevent knee pain and injury

Knee pain can be a direct result from muscle imbalances in the hips, including weak inner and outer thighs and glutes. Bridging helps strengthen these muscle groups without putting added pressure on the knees. This muscle balance can lead to better tracking of the kneecap and a decreased chance of osteoarthritis in the knees.

Bridges can help with scoliosis
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine and causes an imbalance in movement of the vertebrae and the muscles that surround the spine. Bridging not only strengthens, but also can return proper movement to the spine, which can help the pain associated with scoliosis.

Bridges can make you feel good
A bridge is a type of inversion exercise because your heart is lifted higher than your head as you lift your hips. Inversions have been shown to increase blood flow, which can help balance hormones and release endorphins. All of this can lead to better peace of mind, better sleep and improved mood

Bridges improve balance
Bridging works the muscles of the posterior chain of the body. These include the back extensors, gluteals and hamstrings. These muscles play a vital role in our ability to both maintain our balance and regain our balance when we start to fall. Strengthening the posterior chain will help improve balance when standing.

If you want any – or all – of this maybe its time to give the bridge a go… so here’s how:

Simple Bridge:
 
Lie comfortably on the floor – ideally on a mat/something soft
Arms by your sides, knees bent – knees and feet hip distance apart, feet parallel
Draw your feet slightly closer to your bum – imagine your trying to touch the backs of your heels with your fingertips
 
Press down through your feet to lengthen your spine and press your hips up.
Come to a bridge position on your shoulders with your knees, hips and shoulders in one line 
Reverse movement to bring hips back to the floor
Repeat x 10
 

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